Police in China have found the bodies of three children buried under a bridge and are looking for the remains of another, an official and media said Wednesday, as suspicions fell on a local hospital.
The discovery came after a man asked police in the eastern province of Jiangsu to help him recover the body of his daughter after his estranged wife paid a hospital to handle her remains following her death, local media said.
Police investigating the case found three bodies under a bridge in Xiangshui county, but have yet to find the remains of the man's four-year-old daughter, the Modern Express newspaper said.
A Xiangshui government official reached by AFP confirmed the incident and said authorities were investigating the case, but declined further comment.
The Xiangshui County People's Hospital could not be reached.
Photos posted on a local media website showed crowds of residents gathered under the highway bridge viewing at least one small body.
The case is reminiscent of another incident that shocked the country in March 2010, when authorities in the eastern province of Shandong found the bodies of at least 21 infants and foetuses in a river.
Two mortuary workers were detained and two senior medical staff were sacked after at least eight of the bodies had tags indicating they were from the hospital of Jining Medical University in Shandong, state media said.
Authorities said the corpses -- reportedly improperly disposed of by the hospital -- could have been those of aborted foetuses or babies who had died of illness.